Honeycrisp, or Honey Crisp, is a modern apple variety, developed in the 1960s and introduced to the market in the 1990s – sometimes trademarked as Honeycrunch. It is increasingly available in supermarkets. Honeycrisp comes from a long line of apples developed by the University of Minnesota from the 1930s onwards. One of the objectives of this breeding programme has been to develop varieties which can tolerate the bitter cold of winters in some parts of the USA.
The parentage of modern apple varieties is often obscure because they are the result of lengthy breeding programs with cross after cross. The University of Minnesota initially stated that the original parentage was Honeygold (raised in the 1930s from a cross between Golden Delicious and another University of Minnesota development, Haralson) and Macoun, a well-known American variety, developed in the 1920s.
Honeycrisp is a medium-to-large sized apple, with a light green/yellow background largely covered with red-orange flush with strong hint of pink if grown in good sunlight. The skin may be flecked with occasional russet dots. The flesh is white, perhaps not quite as bright as a McIntosh style apple, but similarly crisp and not too dense. The colour however can be quite variable.
The flavour is sweet with very little trace of acidity and little depth or complexity. There can also be a trace of pear-drop flavour. In a good example this is a juicy and instantly refreshing apple, in a less good example it will be simply sweet and bland (but still very nice). As its name suggests this is genuinely a crisp / crunchy apple. However since the flesh is quite light, the crunch is surprisingly soft, nothing like the hard crisp crunch of a good Golden Delicious.
- Uses: Eat fresh, Drying
- Flavour quality: Very good
- Flavour style: Sweet/Sharp/refreshing
- Harvest period: Mid-Late season
- Use / keeping: 3 months or more
- Species: Malus domestica
- Parentage: Keepsake; (MN447 x Northern Spy) x unknown
- Originates from: Minnesota, United States
- Introduced: 1960s
- Developed by: University of Minnesota